USSM redesign request for recs

DMZ · August 19, 2008 at 12:00 pm · Filed Under Site information 

Hey, I’d really like to spiff up the place and get a nice site design up. Mine is… it’s not cutting it. So — we’re looking for a new WordPress theme, I’ll pay out for it, and rather than put this up on Elance or something, I thought I’d see if the readership had recommendations for design resources.

Random thoughts:
– cheap is good, as our coffers are almost entirely donation-based
– previous WordPress theme work a plus
– Seattle-based a plus
– support in case future WP versions break the layout is extra-good

So please, pointers appreciated.


25 Responses to “USSM redesign request for recs”

  1. nickpdx on August 19th, 2008 12:09 pm

    If I was any good at design, I’d love to help out. I have plenty of WordPress theme modding experience, so if anyone has a design but lacks the knowhow to turn it into a WordPress theme, I’m up for it.

  2. mironos on August 19th, 2008 12:32 pm

    I’m sort in the same camp as nickpdx (except w/out the WordPress experience :-)). I’m a front-end Web developer, so can do the coding. I’m not a professional designer, though.

    I’m willing to help out if you need me.

  3. wabbles on August 19th, 2008 12:39 pm

    Well, I know this latest redesign doesn’t allow me to easily read the comments on my TV using my MSNTV2. The previous design allowed me to do that just fine. So anything that would return the layout to the previous design would be appreciated.

  4. DMZ on August 19th, 2008 12:47 pm

    Thanks, but right now that’s not really helpful.

  5. vj on August 19th, 2008 1:06 pm

    Probably not helpful either but I think the design is fine as it is and should stay.
    If you insist on changing try and find one that’s better legible on the blackberry (this one loads the column in the middle last, below the columns on the left and right).

  6. NODO Dweller on August 19th, 2008 1:21 pm

    +1 to vj, though in my case it’s Windows Mobile. What would probably make more sense is a separate mobile theme (only the center column).

    Also add me to the list of folks who are good at implementation but not so much with the design.

  7. joser on August 19th, 2008 1:30 pm

    Could you just adopt some variation of Garland and not have to go full custom? It seems like it would support most of what you’re doing without much work.

  8. ivan on August 19th, 2008 1:44 pm

    [this post didn’t ask for your opinion on whether the site should be redesigned or not]

  9. RadioGuy2k on August 19th, 2008 1:52 pm

    I’ve become quite fond of the current layout because of it’s simple, easy to read format. I hope whatever new style you guys use will incorporate the same qualities.

    Also, for you mobile users, just get an RSS reader. Fixes everything. I’ve got a blackberry, and I read it on an RSS app.

  10. JoelE on August 19th, 2008 1:59 pm

    I am a Photoshop (front-front-end) guy. If someone can chop up a comp into CSS/PHP for WordPress, I might be able to help, time permitting.

    I don’t like the current theme much at all, although I do like to read on iPhone which gets around the design. In a web browser you guys could stand to look a bit nicer for sure.

  11. nickpdx on August 19th, 2008 2:13 pm

    @JoelE, I do that kind of thing regularly in my 9-5 job (PHP developer). We might need to work on this project, since we’re probably distantly related.
    – nick eby

  12. JoelE on August 19th, 2008 2:35 pm

    Wow Nick, that’s totally random. You in Portland then?

  13. julian on August 19th, 2008 2:38 pm

    There are a ton of free WordPress themes floating around online (eg., some of which don’t even require a link-back to use. The redesign might go a lot more smoothly if you found one you liked and got a couple of volunteers to make some small modifications.

  14. nickpdx on August 19th, 2008 2:54 pm

    Yup, just hanging out down here in the strip club capital of the U.S. of A.

  15. msb on August 19th, 2008 3:16 pm

    I have to say I like the simpler looks, like this one

  16. julian on August 19th, 2008 3:48 pm

    Agreed. One important decision that will have to be made is whether to stick with a flexible-width design (i.e. the middle column expands to fill the space available to it) or go with something fixed-width. Many more design options if you go with the latter.

  17. seattleslew on August 19th, 2008 4:02 pm

    I’m a local web developer/designer with WP experience. I’ve done WP projects for sports related sites as well. However, for more flexibility I recommend checking out Expression Engine.

  18. mln on August 19th, 2008 4:48 pm

    Whatever the new site design is, it should have pink ponies, Burger Chef, and a blowup of WFB’s face as wallpaper background, doncha think?

  19. cfbauer on August 19th, 2008 5:06 pm

    I do WordPress theming. You can check out my portfolio at

    You can see the Padres blog I designed at

  20. Brian on August 19th, 2008 6:25 pm

    I don’t have any association with them but I like a number of the blogs designed by Unique Blog Designs.

  21. Lauren, token chick on August 19th, 2008 8:00 pm

    Can you please put the thread up where we can say “Whaaa? We’re here for the content, screw a snazzy design which will only serve to lure in the obnoxious.”

  22. windwardtrades on August 20th, 2008 6:25 am

    My .02, after taking a peek at your source code I’d suggest you don’t have to upgrade to each minor version upgrade of WP. You are running your feeds off your site and using feedburner is a lot easier and less breakable. I use a commercial theme that is well thought out and uses an innovative approach to CSS. It uses a standard CSS file and a custom CSS file which allows easy and safe enhancements. It’s also media friendly. Is commercial, but not expensive at all. The developer site is at and my licensed version is at

  23. pensive on August 20th, 2008 10:37 am

    I’m firmly entrenched in the camp “here for the content”.
    I like and appreciate the current design and simplicity.

    Not sure why it has been loading slow lately.

    Naturally whatever makes it easier for the authors is most important.

  24. JoelE on August 20th, 2008 12:26 pm

    It’s easy to confuse design with styling. I highly doubt that USSM is looking for an over-the-top, obnoxious new look, complete with heavy, slow-to-load header graphics featuring WFB and pink pony wallpapers.

    That’s what the USSM MySPace page should be all about.

    The content is what makes the site great, obviously. A good design should be able to maximize the readability & searchability of the content here.

  25. ballparkclassics on August 21st, 2008 8:04 am

    our design, marketing, and ad agency would be glad to help as we all read USSM and discuss it in the office. We are and are located in downtown Seattle at 5th and Pine. Derek and Dave, I will e-mail you with info. We built which is an over-the-top flash site with a wordpress backend. Agree with the comments posted here that design needs to get out of the way of the great content, but it can aid in readability, ease of navigation, and mobile access for sure.

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